New equipment purchased by Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust is good news for patients and staff

The Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust (WAST) is improving manual handling and helping staff to stay safe, thanks to new equipment purchased from ProMove UK Ltd (ProMove) in partnership with Leicestershire based emergency evacuation specialist 3ET.

Moving and handling patients, particularly larger people, is becoming an ever more common situation, presenting a challenge for those working in the health and social care sectors and emergency services.

Following several months of trialling by the WAST teams across south Wales, the Bari-kit from ProMove has been purchased and is available on seven ambulances covering south Wales. The Bari-kit is made up of three slings; adult sling which has a safe working load of 45 stone, and a bariatric and support bariatric sling which have a safe working load of 63 stone, the kit also comes with extension handles, bugg strap to assist placing the sling, lifting belt to life legs, and heavy duty slide sheet.

Arwyn Thomas, Operations Manager for the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service in the Central and West Wales region said: “The ProMove is a very innovative piece of equipment. Its simple design allows efficient and comfortable transferring of patients no matter what their weight, and its compact nature also minimises storage requirements as space is at a premium on our ambulances.”

He adds: “Some of the tasks that our staff are presented with are extremely challenging. We are always looking for new and versatile pieces of equipment that can reduce manhandling patients and at the same time make moving and handling as safe as possible for staff; the Bari-kit offers this.”

Obesity in the UK is a major health concern, data published as part of the World Health Organisaton (WHO) study in 2014 showed that 28.1% of adults in the UK were recognised as clinically obese with a Body Mass Index greater than 30. More than two-thirds of men and almost six in 10 women are overweight or obese.

Experts have predicted that by the year 2020 one third of the United Kingdom population could be obese. Rising levels of obesity are a major challenge to public health, and there are expected to be 11 million more obese adults in the UK by 2030.

Dana Thomas, Director for ProMove UK Ltd said: “We are delighted that WAST has purchased our Bari-kits to help with their manual handling. The distinctive shape of the slings means they are simple to deploy and can be placed under the individual, and provide support without risk of friction or shearing. The strategically placed handles allow as many rescuers as possible to take a firm grip and share the load.”

The ProMove slings can be placed behind a sitting person’s back, and the elongated parts are brought to either side of the hips and legs and taken under the thighs – placed under the individual without having to manhandle them.

Once in place there are webbing handles at the back and at the thighs so that the person is moved in a seated position, it comes with simple webbing extension handles that enable up to eight staff to take the load.

Gary Wilson, Director for 3ET said: “We have worked closely with WAST and many other Ambulance Trusts as well as Fire and Rescue Teams across the UK, looking at how to improve manual handling and transferring patients and casualties to try and make the procedures safer and reduce the risk as much as possible.”

He adds: “The ergonomic design of the component parts of the Bari-Kit substantially reduce the risk of bruising, skin shearing or respiratory failure for the bariatric individual, whilst at the same time reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injury for the operatives. Strategically placed handles allow as many operatives as necessary to share the load, whilst providing a comfortable and dignified move for the patient.”

For more information about WAST please go to the website http://www.was-tr.wales.nhs.uk , for more information about ProMove UK Ltd please visit www.promove.uk.com, for more information about 3ET please visit www.3et.co.uk

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